Unleash a Healthy Lifestyle

Category: Gary's Column, Winter 2015 125 0

gary-weitzman-dogsSan Diego is one of the most ideal spots in the country for outdoor activities. Our city’s near-perfect weather; endless access to parks, beaches, and hiking trails; and dog-friendly attitude make it easy to take our animals along on our daily excursions. With opportunities for adventure around every corner, there are plenty of options to get out and get active with your pet.

This issue of San Diego Pets Magazine features a variety of ideas for fitness activities to do with your pet. From hiking to surfing to yoga, there’s something for everyone, no matter what your fitness level or your pet’s personality. In my family, we enjoy low-key waterfront hikes around Shelter Island or Sunset Cliffs, but by far our favorite spot for outdoor fun is Dog Beach in Ocean Beach. When we arrive with our dogs, Jake and Betty, the excitement rivals a busload of kindergarteners on a field trip to Disneyland. Jake gets his exercise by swimming, and Betty, well, she’s transfixed by seaweed. Betty may not be our star Olympic athlete, but at least she’s getting out there.

That’s the advice I give to all pet owners: Get out there and enjoy the great outdoors with your animals. With a majority of pets in this country considered overweight, it’s our obligation as pet parents to involve them in a healthy exercise regimen and eating routine. Obesity has all of the same negative effects on pets as it does on people, causing chronic illness, reducing quality of life, and even shortening lifespan. So take a hike, San Diego, and don’t forget to take your pet with you.

Gary Weitzman, DVM, MPH, CAWA
President and CEO
San Diego Humane Society and SPCA

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